Roller Derby

Pivotal Meeting with FIRS Leads WFTDA to Seek IOC Recognition for Roller Derby

“FIRS has recently realized the accelerated, stable and powerful growth of ,” the writes in its open letter to the IOC. “Due to the significant numbers and financial resources our athletes potentially represent, it is attempting to bring roller derby under its regulatory umbrella. … FIRS has been unable to achieve

a level of resources, unity, or support for its existing disciplines, about whom it is presumably already very knowledgeable and invested relative to those of the WFTDA.”

“The WFTDA has the unified support of tens of thousands of athletes, coaches and officials from six continents,” the IOC letter goes on to say. “We wish to continue to build consensus and leverage that support, allowing those who are involved as experts in the sport to continue to govern independently, democratically and in a unified manner. We are prepared to do whatever we need to in order to comply with IOC guidelines, so long as we are able to protect the integrity and independent governance of our sport.”

The last sentence of the letter effectively spells out the ultimate intentions of the WFTDA: Do what it needs to do to gain international recognition as the governing body for roller derby worldwide.

Certainly, the WFTDA has been doing its part. Over the last ten years, the WFTDA has led the explosion of flat track roller derby to over 400 affiliated member leagues in more than 20 countries. The , brother association to the WFTDA for men’s roller derby, has more than 60 member leagues in several countries thanks in part to the WFTDA.1

The WFTDA, reaffirming its claim as the sole governing body for roller derby worldwide, recently published an open letter to the International Olympic Committee seeking official recognition as such. The WFTDA also published a response to the Fédération Internationale de Roller Sports, rejecting their nascent claim to international roller derby governance.

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